The debate on child-discipline rages on across the Pacific in Australia. Below are a few excerpts from an article www.thedaily.com.au...
"Outlawing parental smacking of children could lead to family break ups and brand parents as criminals.
Brisbane criminal defence lawyer Tim Meehan has released a statement arguing against the recent push to make “excessive” smacking of children illegal claiming the move could spell the end for many families..."
And finishes up by stating,
"...[former attorney-general] Mr Wells said he believed outlawing smacking would force parents to discover non-violent ways to discipline their children.
However Mr Meehan, who works for Ryan Bosscher Lawyers, said parents needed education, not a change to the criminal code.
“You would just make them liable to be charged as criminals,” Mr Meehan said.
“An education program is a great idea and worth supporting but changing the Criminal Code to ban parental smacking is not the way to do it. Changing the Criminal Code is not an education move, it is purely about punishing people for crimes.”
Mr Meehan said New Zealand parents were attempting to overturn their nation’s anti-smacking laws.
“Our laws already protect children against excessive force and provides the option to prosecute parents who abuse their children,” Mr Meehan said.
“Nobody is suggesting parents, or anyone who abuses a child, should be immune from prosecution.
“The danger with changing the law is how they are interpreted and enforced. You could see parents being prosecuted for minor smacks that would usually be associated with part of the parenting process..."
"...The law, as it stands, allows for parents to use “reasonable force” to discipline children."
I just hope that the people and legislators of Australia have more sense than we appear to be excercising over here in New Zealand. I hope that they can look at the dog of a law that we now have, and also look across to Sweden and the other few countries that have criminalised parents who smack their children; and think better of a law-change.
God defend Australia.